M4's The Hobbit Book Edit

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
A fan edit that combines The Hobbit trilogy into a more faithful and captivating single-movie experience.
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2012 / 2013 / 2014
Original Running Time:
499
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
245
Time Cut:
254
Time Added:
0
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
A fan edit that combines The Hobbit trilogy into one film that closely follows the book and also sits better with The Lord of the Rings film trilogy with regards to visuals / physics / combat. However, other than atmosphere, each story's tone and narrative will still be distinct without any forced references; the focus has been brought back to Bilbo's adventure with only a few subtle nods to the ensuing trilogy remaining.
Intention:
I felt that the trilogy had "too much," whether it be all the sideplots, CGI, action, or its overall length. As a huge fan of the book who also wanted to enjoy the film version, I decided to edit the movies down to fit with what Tolkien wrote, which coincided with rectifying all of said critiques. Not only did I make this project for us purist Tolkien fans, but also for casual audiences who may just prefer a more digestible and focused narrative, regardless of the book. As a result, I have created a new presentation of what a standalone "extended" Hobbit movie could have been like, which I find to be a more captivating, enjoyable, and emotionally impactful adaptation.
Other Sources:
- Howard Shore’s The Hobbit Original Motion Picture Soundtracks (Special Edition)
- The Battle of the Five Armies Appendices Part 11 (Gandalf's cut eulogy)
- The Hobbit - Complete Recordings (Fan Project)
- Additional theatrical version footage from all 3 movies
- Various free & self-recorded sound effects
Special Thanks:
Eric Odmyr for making amazing and groundbreaking new VFX for my edit

Timothée Masurel his for restored unreleased soundtrack

Dustin Lee for a VFX shot

TM2YC for reviewing my edit and helping me learn to become a member here

ArtisDead for supporting the project and helping me find my way to approval

InfoDroid for reviewing and approving my edit

...and everyone who has supported the project or given feedback! This edit is dedicated to fans of Tolkien and the LOTR films, making it has been a pleasure and I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as I did making it.
Release Information:
  • Digital
  • Blu-Ray
Special Features
- Chapter Stops: Based off book chapters
- Subtitles: English [Closed Captions], English, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Dwarvish]
- Editors Audio Commentary: Audio track discussing all the changes made in this project.
- Bonus Scenes: Footage that was re-edited but cut from the main feature, including “Durin’s Folk,” “The White Council,” and several random deleted scenes. [ISOs only]
- Behind the Scenes: A recording of what the project looks like in the editing software, overviewing various editing techniques. [ISOs only]
- Release Trailer: Promotional trailer I made that shows off various changes and edits. [ISOs only]
Editing Details:
1) Be more faithful to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien while still being under Peter Jackson’s vision and functioning as a cinematically enjoyable experience. Includes making the plot focus on the main quest, adjusting characterization, and also decreasing the numerous references to LOTR.

2) Consistent tone as the story progresses from its lighthearted beginning to darker ending. With this, a convincing atmosphere displaying more realistic combat and physics is present throughout.

3) Maintain professional film editing techniques, specifically with making smooth audio transitions, maintaining a surround sound mix with new edits, and well-balanced pacing.

4) Stay in Middle Earth as long as possible with our beloved characters, never cut anything “good” or from the book purely for the sake of runtime. Hence, this edit is presented as an "extended edition."

5) Appeal to all Middle Earth & movie fans, regardless of what their prior knowledge is with any of the books or original films.

The extended editions were used as the base cuts along with additional theatrical footage in order to deliver the most polished end result using all available footage. The final 4-hour runtime blends right in with the LOTR extended editions, making for a perfect marathon of now four films rather than six.
Cuts and Additions:
- Overall Changes -

All three extended Hobbit films ripped from the official 1080p Blu-rays and combined into one movie. An Unexpected Journey covers the first half, while The Desolation of Smaug & The Battle of the Five Armies cover the second half.

Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio extracted to edit in a 5.1 surround sound mix. For any music changes from the official soundtrack, lossless CDQ tracks were used.

The entire book was read while this project was edited to ensure no mistakes or accidental missing details. Occasional deviations from the text were obviously necessary to maintain steady pacing, fleshed out characters, and a logical narrative on screens.

Added subtle 35mm film grain overlay throughout the entire trilogy to reduce the digital look and match slightly closer to the LOTR films.

Reduced saturation & vibrancy throughout the entire trilogy where necessary to give a more natural look that also fits closer with the LOTR films.

Reduced green tint throughout the entire trilogy where necessary to give a more natural look, letting the blues and reds shine more.

The single movie is split with a short “Intermission” on the digital versions, and an “Insert next disc” screen on the Blu-ray version.

Rather than an intermission being exactly 50% of the way in, it is strategically placed a bit over 40% of the way in to cover up the jump from An Unexpected Journey to The Desolation of Smaug. This works well, as the “second part” has a larger climax and more plots to resolve, making it thematically logical to have a longer runtime, similar to RotK having the longest runtime of the three LOTR films. There is also a shift in tone after An Unexpected Journey which makes for a satisfying placement of the intermission.

- An Unexpected Party -

Adjusted coloring on opening texts & title screen to give them a nice warm goldish-brownish look but not too bright or too dull.

Adjusted audio for the opening to account for the new structure. Contains a mix of “My Dear Frodo,” “Old Friends,” various new sound effects, and re-arranged Bilbo narration.

Opening narration begins with “In a hole in the ground” and has been adjusted to only give the audience what they need before moving to young Bilbo, as well as referencing some lines from the book’s first chapter.

Bilbo now only introduces himself as a Hobbit, where he is from, where his “story” began (which was with Gandalf), and how he used to be a very different & respectable Hobbit, while nothing unexpected ever happened.

Color adjusted the rearranged shot of Bilbo reflecting on his younger self so that it appears as if this took place in daytime rather than the dark early morning.

Entire flashback opening is cut. The Lonely Mountain & Smaug remain a mystery to both young Bilbo and the audience that we will soon learn about as the story progresses; we have to wait to see the Mountain until we actually reach it.

Removed extended Frodo scenes, he now only makes a short thirty-second cameo with no dialogue.

Removed An Unexpected Journey title screen, instead cutting right from old Bilbo to young Bilbo after only a two minute opening.

Cut Gandalf jump-scaring Bilbo through the window to make his character more like the book and less “scary.”

Cut ending portion of the market scene where Bilbo thinks Gandalf is coming after him, again, to reduce some silliness and the aspect of Bilbo feeling scared or threatened.

Trimmed out some short extraneous Bag End silliness: Got rid of the Bombur “eats it by the block” joke, trimmed out Ori’s excessively loud burp, and further down the line shortened Ori’s outburst at the dinner table.

Trimmed one short stanza from “Blunt the Knives” in order to remove ridiculous CGI plate tricks, but the majority of the song is still intact as it was in the book.

Redubbed some plate sound effects to account for rearranged song footage.

The Company now leaves the Shire in just 30 minutes compared to the original ~45.

- Roast Mutton -

Cut quick shot of Bombur inhaling bugs while snoring.

Shortened nighttime scene where Bilbo feeds his pony and they hear Orcs by removing the entire Moria flashback. Added new music cue to transition to the next scene.

The Azog subplot is not present in this edit. Removed all instances of him until The Battle of the Five Armies portion.

When the Company hears Orcs it serves as foreshadowing for when an Orc pack shows up to attack them after the Goblin caves.

During the on the road scene, trimmed out Bilbo insulting Gandalf (“is he a great wizard, or more like you?”) to adjust their characters to what feels more natural and book accurate.

Trimmed out some of the descriptions about Radagast. Now, this scene just serves as world building and characterization to continue growing Bilbo & Gandalf’s friendship.

Removed the Radagast scene that follows, along with every other scene of him that normally would come later.

With overlaying narration, new transition from riding the ponies to taking a rest by the Trollshaws.

Trimmed a few silly jokes in the Troll scene. William no longer sneezes for really long, he does not contribute to the chicken fish joke, and he does not scratch his butt in a close-up.

Reduced William being bullied by the other trolls in order to make them all seem more equally scary. This means, his nose is not grabbed for an extended period with silly noises and Bert no longer argues with him, where he was originally forced to sheepishly apologize.

Removed Ori trying to use a slingshot on a Troll and also made a quick trim near the end to speed pacing up when Bilbo frees the ponies.

Cut the Dwarves arguing with Bilbo about having parasites when he is clearly trying to stall the Trolls.

It is assumed all the ponies ran away after Bilbo freed some of them, and then when the Company got captured, it meant they were unable to tend to the rest. This is why they do not ride ponies after escaping the Trolls.

- A Short Rest -

Instead of Radagast showing up after the Troll cave, the music transitions into a new hiking montage using footage taken from later in the film, showing the Company progress towards Rivendell. Rescored and added waterfall sound effect for one of the shots.

Cut the entire Warg chase sequence. The first time the audience & Bilbo ever see Orcs or Goblins is now in the Goblin caves, like the book.

It is assumed that Gandalf led the Company to Rivendell without explaining where their pathway led, so it still makes sense that Thorin is upset when they arrive.

Cut all mentions of the Company drawing the Orcs near Rivendell.

Removed Elf-Dwarf romance jokes.

Removed the extended dinner part where the Dwarves sung a song as it slows pacing down and does not contribute much. Instead, we cut to night where they discuss the map like in the theatrical cut.

Cut Elrond’s hint at Galadriel’s presence near the end of the moon rune scene.

Removed Azog’s scene in Weathertop and rearranged the following Rivendell scenes into a linear night-to-day sequence.

We remain at night after the moon runes and with a new music cue cut to the Dwarves making food and relaxing. This was originally the next night, but now it is the same one.

Removed the joke about Bombur catching a sausage which breaks the bench, instead, he just breaks it because of his own weight.

The White Council scene is removed and placed on the special features. As soon as Elrond and Gandalf walk off to it, it cuts away with a new music transition to various establishing shots of Rivendell in the morning.

Removed Bilbo finding the shards of Narsil and the scene where Dwarves were swimming naked in the fountain, as neither fit the edit with my goals in mind.

Adjusted coloring in the Bilbo and Elrond scene to make it more cold, like an early morning.

Afterwards, we cut right to the Company leaving Rivendell later that morning, with a redone transition into the next hiking montage.

- Over Hill and Under Hill -

Using the remaining hiking footage, as some was used earlier, the Dwarves enter the Misty Mountains while the most triumphant part of the Misty Mountains theme plays.

Cut all stone giants as they were ridiculously exaggerated from the book, now Bilbo simply falls due to the slippery rocks and the distracting lightning. He is rescued and the following characterization with Thorin remains intact.

Digitally altered a repurposed shot of Dwarves by removing Bilbo & Dwalin’s head from the background to fix continuity, as the shot is framed as if they are looking over at them.[1]

Cut another Azog scene, we have still been sticking with the Company this entire time.

Removed the slightly jarring jump cut when Bilbo decides to turn back to Rivendell.

Goblin caves recolored to be slightly darker & less orange.

Removed all of the somewhat silly waterslide shots when the Dwarves fall in the Goblin trap so it appears as if they just fall straight down into the cage.

Removed silly sound effect when Bilbo tries to grab onto the rope when he gets knocked down into the lower caves.

Recut Goblin song to remove the Goblin King being silly, fist pumping, dancing in a circle, stepping on other Goblins, and discussing his song both before and after.

Removed Goblin king joking about Nori’s stolen silverware.

Cut the end of the scene shorter to remove Azog references & the Goblin messenger.

- Riddles in the Dark -

Cuts to Gollum’s cave right after, where Bilbo wakes up on his own without ever seeing Gollum.

Recolored Gollum’s cave to be slightly darker.

Bilbo now finds the ring like the book, clueless as to who owns it.

Slightly cropped and trimmed the close-up of Gollum floating on his raft so we do not see his full face. Now, the first time we see his entire face close-up is when he jumps out in front of Bilbo.

Trimmed Goblin King stepping on other Goblins as a footstool.

Cut all ridiculous combat techniques throughout the Goblin escape sequence. Anything that was extremely unrealistic or physically impossible has been removed.

When Bilbo slips and the ring falls on his finger, the CGI ring floats around his finger much less, as to appear more “realistic” and closer to the moment when the ring falls on Frodo’s finger in LOTR.

The Goblin escape sequence is now just 1 minute long compared to the original 4.

Goblin King does not return at the end nor does the Company slide down the entire cavern on a bridge.

As the Dwarves are running out of the tunnel, added dialogue from earlier that I had cut with Gandalf yelling “Daylight! Come on!” to help the audience understand that being in the daylight will save them.

- Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire -

Trimmed out Gandalf noticing Bilbo hiding the ring in his pocket. While Gandalf may be suspicious, he does not know for sure that Bilbo has a ring, which we will see him discover in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Orcs & wargs show up to attack the Company. All shots of Azog removed throughout. A few additional Warg howls were added to sell the moment.

Removed Bilbo killing a Warg to maintain his non-warrior status. Throughout this edit, he only ever struggles to fight one Goblin and then kills two spiders, mostly with the help of the ring or element of surprise. Other than these instances of combat, he uses his wits and brains to escape situations, like the book.

Cut some of the sillier Dwarf combat tactics.

Replaced Azog’s introduction to the Dwarves with the introduction of a generic Orc Warg-rider. Not only does this help maintain the pacing of the action scene by letting the audience breath for a second, but it is also nice to directly show that Orcs are present without the audience having to assume so from seeing them in the background.

Redubbed nameless Orc subtitle to fit new context. Digitally removed the moon from the background for visual continuity and adjusted color correction to make the shots fit. Shots of nameless Orc were repurposed from the end of the scene where Balin told the story of The Battle of Azanulbizar.

Added two additional repurposed closeups of Orcs reacting to Gandalf throwing flaming pinecones in order to keep pushing the fact that Orcs are present in this sequence without them being awkwardly ignored. Added subtle shaky cam and minor flickering light effects to fit new placement.

Removed the entire Thorin charge with the Nazgul theme, as again, Azog is not present here. Along with this, Dwarves and Bilbo do not charge out either.

Dori slipping and grabbing onto Gandalf’s staff is spliced with the Eagles arriving and continuing to fall. This was done to not only account for the removed Orc battling, but also to make the moment more believable. That is, Dori is only able to hold Gandalf’s staff for a few seconds before falling.

New Eagle escape montage using the unused piece “Good Omen” to show their escape and progression. With this, removed the reusage of the Gondor theme that was in the original film.

As Thorin was not wounded by Azog, his unconscious body seen on Carrock has been digitally replaced with a rock and using deep fake technology the wounds on his face have been removed.[2]

The new montage soundtrack also helps with this more positive tone, as we are not worrying about Thorin’s health anymore.

Directly after Carrock, it cuts to black and transitions into the intermission music. This makes for a perfect rest break that also covers up the time jump from An Unexpected Journey to The Desolation of Smaug, as we reflect on how far the Company has come and how far they still have to go.

Intermission text, as found on the digital version, matches the color and font of the opening texts. The ISO version “Insert next disc” screen matches the official screen from the Blu-ray for An Unexpected Journey.

Digital intermission lasts for close to two minutes with music continuing from “Axe or Sword” that soon transitions into another piece. The next track, “The Quest for Erebor,” features the original ominous title screen music from The Desolation of Smaug and ends off with a Shire theme callback before finally fading into Part 2, making for a good segue.

- Queer Lodgings -

Removed The Desolation of Smaug opening screens, Bree scene, and title screen. Instead, we cut right back to the Company after they have left Carrock, which according to Peter Jackson’s audio commentary is about six hours later.

This new opening features a fade in showing a mountain range with the Wargs catching up to the Company, even after the Eagle escape. There is a little bit of dramatic irony earlier because Bilbo just said “the worst is behind them,” when we all knew that was untrue, so here we see why.

Removed all close-up shots of Azog. Instead, as always, the Warg pack is just depicted as unknown Orcs pursuing the Dwarves to seek revenge over the death of the Goblin King, like the book. Even without that book explanation, Orcs like to hunt for sport or to kill those in their territory, so it also works with that general logic.

New chase sequence into Beorn’s house beginning with a repurposed shot that has been color graded, along with some added Warg sound effects. This shot establishes the vast forest they have been in and the Misty Mountains in the far distance.

Rescored and rearranged, we now see the Company run through the forest and out towards Beorn’s house without any shots of Azog or any shots of the Company suddenly running through an empty grass plain between shots of them running through forests.

Cut Bombur clumsily running full speed into Beorn’s door.

The Dwarves open the door with a big push rather than struggling to open it. In general, while the Dwarves do have a comedic side to them, I have done these various trims to try to portray them as having general competence.

Shortened the struggle to close the door, as this action bit was not necessary.

Removed Bilbo petting the ring and Azog watching over the house.

Instead, cut from Gandalf's warnings to showing Beorn as a bear at night. New music cue used to transition to the morning scene where Dwarves are introduced to Beorn in pairs.

Removed mention of Azog during the Beorn breakfast scene. Luckily, the extended version of this sequence does not introduce an alliance of Moria Orcs and the Necromancer, so the rest of this scene can play out as normal.

Then, when the Company leaves, the extended edition includes the reintroduction of the Necromancer here. So, I simply reverted to the theatrical for this scene, to get the best of both worlds for the Beorn scenes, where we can stick to the main quest and not have references setting up Gandalf’s sidequest to the High Fells.

Rearranged and adjusted Gandalf’s discovery of the red eye symbol to remove the Sauron eye flashes, remove Bilbo mentally struggling and touching the ring, and remove Galadriel’s voiceover. Redubbed center channel to fix audio and re-add Gandalf’s footsteps.

Gandalf simply finds a red marking, which obviously represents something evil, and so he decides to investigate. It works well to keep this plot mysterious and secret rather than forcing obvious LOTR hints, that way both stories can work on their own and Sauron is introduced in the story where he is relevant, not in The Hobbit.

Removed the part where Bilbo struggled to admit he found the ring to Gandalf and then ended up lying as this was another ring of power reference. Instead, Gandalf just says he needs to leave, a new thunder sound effect plays; as it begins to rain the Company looks at him in disappointment.

Gandalf departs and his entire sidequest is removed, with him only returning right before the final battle.

- Flies and Spiders -

Trimmed some moments of Bilbo being distracted by the Mirkwood river. It should only really draw you in and delude you if you touch it.

Cut Bilbo looking cautious and a bit worried when told to test the vines first. Now, he looks determined and ready to prove himself again as a valued part of the Company.

Removed Bilbo telling the Company to not cross the river, as to fit with the river not being dangerous unless you fall in.

Cut Bilbo asking Thorin what he is doing when he tries to shoot the deer, as it is quite obvious that the Company will need food. Also cut the mentions of “luck,” as to make this moment more in line with the book and to downplay any antagonism between Thorin and Bilbo.

Bombur now falls in the river off screen, rather than falling asleep on the vines and then falling in, as to appear that you would not fall asleep unless you touch it, like the book.

Trimmed out Bilbo flicking the spiderwebs and talking about voices with Thorin to (again) downplay any verbal conflict between the two. Also, it is still too early to have this much foreshadowing about the spiders, it is better to let the audience put things together on their own.

The Company no longer purposefully wanders off the path as Bilbo yells back at them in order to make them seem less foolish.

Instead, inserted a shot from the theatrical version showing that they have naturally drifted away from the path and are far off it. Color corrected this shot and the following shot to have a more bluish tint that allows the footage to flow smoothly all together.

Cut Bilbo falling down after freeing the Dwarves, which originally led to him going crazy fighting a baby spider while worried about losing the ring.

Trimmed the most ridiculous action from the spider fight including when the Dwarves pull the legs of a spider out.

Subtle adjustments to the color grading to make a more gradual progression from the murky green sections to the more realistic and normal coloring once the Dwarves are captured, as I removed footage that used to be in between.

- Barrels Out of Bonds -

The Elves jumo up out of hiding to capture the Dwarves rather than Legolas having an action stunt where he slides down through the forest like a superhero. Moment is reminiscent of the Fellowship entering Lothlorien and being surprised by Elves.

Legolas makes his one minute cameo here, never to return for the rest of the movie. Tauriel is simply a background Elf warrior.

Cut Tauriel action when she saves Kili. Now, all the Dwarves are assumed to be captured together and then immediately searched.

As the Gloin-Legolas moment with the forced Gimli reference was cut, I had to reduce the surrounding Fili blade gag moments so the footage flowed. Instead of an Elf pulling out a dozen hidden weapons, the joke still works with just the second moment where he almost got away with hiding a knife, meanwhile we see the Elf holding a bunch already.

Trimmed out Legolas calling the Elves of Gondolin his kin, as in the actual Tolkien lore he probably would not have. They were distant Elves of a different strand.

Removed Dwarves being pushed into cells, mostly to get rid of the entire love triangle subplot, but also because the scene was not really necessary otherwise.

Added subtitle translation for Thorin’s Dwarvish insult to Thranduil so that the audience can understand the emotional struggle between the two races, that Thorin wishes Thranduil faced the same dragon fire that his people did.

Should be noted that the added subtitle is colored white, the same as the Elvish subtitles in Rivendell. This is to indicate that with their place in the story, they are the “good guys,” whereas the Wood Elves & Orc subtitles are more greyish, indicating that they are not exactly the “good guys” or to be trusted.

Cut the second half of the Thorin and Thranduil scene to remove the weird “serpent mouth” transformation. Thus, Thranduil’s response to Thorin’s insult is removed which originally gave context to what he said in Dwarvish, giving more reason to show the translated subtitle.

The Arkenstone is introduced here, but clueless audiences will be left in the dark until it is explained inside Erebor. This is intentional and keeps the audience engaged and curious, like Bilbo. It also makes us start to question the adventure, is there some ulterior motive or negative implications? In Laketown, this doubt will continue to be expanded with Bard’s opposition.

After the insult, it now cuts right to Thorin being thrown in a cell.

Removed Tauriel and Thranduil scene where Bilbo listens in on them.

Cuts from Thorin referencing Bilbo as their only hope to the scene of Bilbo walking through the wine barrel cellar.

Used a repurposed and flipped shot of Bilbo popping out in front of a wall in order to maintain the almost “match cut” of Thorin referencing their “only hope” to Bilbo’s face, while still making sense in the scene, rather than just cutting to a wide shot of the barrel room.

Cut Elf soldiers running towards the river. Now, the Dwarves barrel escape is just too quick and sudden for the Elves to be able to react and stop them.

Recut and rescored the barrel escape so that there is no battle with no Orcs or Elves present at all.

- A Warm Welcome -

Removed Kili’s wound subplot and any mention of Orcs tracking them. As soon as the Dwarves get out of the barrels, Bard is waiting there ready to confront them.

New digitally altered shots to remove any arrows stuck to the barrels after the Dwarves get on land.[2]

Removed more Orc scenes and we continue to stay with the Company. The last time we saw the Orcs was very briefly at the start of part two, and ever since then the Company has managed to escape them.

Adjusted my custom coloring in the entire Laketown sequence to give stronger blues so it looks colder.

Recut opening of Laketown to remove the gate scene with Alfrid. We just assume Bard successfully entered the town safely and the fish barrels kept the Dwarves hidden.

We then flow smoothly into Bard emptying the barrels, where the Dwarves get out and sneak to Bard’s house without being confronted or going through any toilets.

Used soundtrack “The World of Men” extracted by “The Hobbit - Complete Recordings” fan project to rescore their entrance to Laketown without the chase sequence.[3]

Removed the town guard chase sequence. In fact, there is no large suspicion of Bard as all Laketown spies are cut.

Removed all scenes with the Master and Alfrid until we get to the town center when the Dwarves are captured.

Removed Balin mentioning that only a black arrow can kill a dragon. In my cut, there is no rule and instead we assume that any strong weapon can kill a dragon, which obviously includes black arrows.

When asked about the weapons, Bard does not have to sneak them out of hiding from under a boat, and there is no longer a brief discussion between the Dwarves about the time restraint of their quest; in the single movie format, we do not need as many repeated references to our characters motivations and goals.

Jump cut to Bard pulling out the weapons. Removed a couple jokes when they were complaining about the weapons.

Continued to remove all references to Kili being wounded.

Removed cutback to Tauriel and Legolas, we now follow Bard as he goes to learn about who Thorin is.

Reverted to the theatrical version of the tapestry scene to remove the added shot of Alfrid spying on Bard.

Reverted to the theatrical version transition when the Company is sneaking into the armory, now skipping over the added Master and Bard scene.

Changed music cue transition to the lighthearted Bilbo theme which transitions better, often used in suspicious or sillier moments, which matches them climbing the wall.

Trimmed down Laketown town square scene. Removed all Alfrid dialogue except for one brief line and cut down on silliness with the Master.

Removed extended scene of Bilbo giving his word for Thorin as it was never expanded on. That is, Thorin never honestly thanked him or treated him differently afterwards, so the scene really only plays into Bilbo being super nice and Thorin being rude, and I also think the scene feels a bit odd in the sense that why would anyone trust Bilbo, who is another foreigner (and even different race too).

Removed almost all of post-meeting Laketown scenes because no Dwarves are left behind anymore.

Recut exit from Laketown. The trumpets sound, people cheer, and the Company departs.

- On the Doorstep -

Inserted a color adjusted shot from The Battle of the Five Armies showing Fili, Kili, Bofur, and Oin walking towards Erebor to help sell the illusion that all Dwarves are present.

Added digitally altered shot that shows all 14 members of the Company hiking to Erebor originally made for the Maple Films The Hobbit fan edit.[4]

As always, we stick with the Company. From the Laketown boats all the way to finding the secret entrance and entering Erebor, all Dol Guldur cutaways have been removed. New music cue transitions to blend everything together.

Recut and rescored the secret door scene to remove the Dwarves giving up at the first sign of failure, as to make them seem more competent.

Spliced in a shot of the Dwarves looking upon the door as Bilbo discovers it to help sell the illusion that they have always been there.

- Inside Information / Not at Home -

My custom color grading has been eased up on Smaug’s lair to allow the greens more room so that the coins appear gold and not reddish.

Recut moment when Bilbo pulls off his ring in order to remove the flash of Sauron’s eye.

Instead, Smaug’s deceptive and mysterious words, which subconsciously reference Gollum, end up scaring Bilbo into pulling off the ring.

Heavily recut the rest of the Smaug scene to remove all cutaways so that the entire sequence plays out together continuously with just Bilbo and Smaug.

That means, Bard is no longer arrested back in Laketown nor are there any action scenes with Legolas and Tauriel in Laketown.

Slightly rearrangement to get all the dialogue in the order it was in like the book, while also removing Smaug’s nonsensical mentions of “Oakenshield,” as that name was made long after the Dwarves fled Erebor.

Added dialogue that Smaug originally said to Thorin in the movie, but now says to Bilbo like in the book. Includes when he calls himself the “King under the Mountain,” how he laid low warriors of old, and how he instilled fear in the hearts of men.

Instead of Bilbo angering Smaug by talking about the black arrow and a prolonged visual reference to Smaug’s missing scale, Smaug is just naturally upset after having enough of Bilbo right when he says “our little game ends here.” The scene is now much more of a slower linear buildup to Smaug finally lashing out to kill Bilbo.

Makes for a perfectly smooth flowing conclusion to the sequence as Smaug breathes fire and Bilbo runs away, without trying to prolong tension or force references.

Removed the entire Dwarf chase sequence in Erebor, to place the focus on Bilbo, remove unnecessary action, stick to the book, and most importantly make Smaug still appear competent.

After escaping the treasure hoard, Bilbo finds his way into the grand entrance hall. New music cue transition added and blended in.

Smaug actually follows through with attacking Laketown instead of confronting Thorin and being covered in melted gold. This way, it also makes Smaug much more of a menacing villain, instead of being constantly distracted. It made little sense for Smaug to yell that he will show the Dwarves revenge, by not killing the Dwarves.

Layered additional crash/boom sound effect when Smaug breaks out through the gate. SFX taken from the original ending of The Desolation of Smaug.

New digitally altered shot showing Smaug breaking out of Erebor without being covered in gold.[2][4]

Jump cut from Smaug breaking the gate to the Dwarves by the hidden entrance. This scene has been repurposed, originally the Dwarves were reacting to the sound of a pillar breaking, now, they are reacting to the front gate being broken.

Fixed a random speck of light appearing in the dark hidden entrance hallway seen in the background for a split second.

Balin reacts with fear in his eyes, “That my lad, was a dragon,” in a rescored moment before cutting to the Laketown people reacting to the dragon.

Once in Laketown, we cut to Bard and his family reacting to Smaug, setting up his plot.

Cuts back to Bilbo reacting to Smaug’s departure outside of the gate, then ending off with Smaug flying towards Laketown reciting his final lines from The Desolation of Smaug.

Cuts back to Bard, where we will be staying for the next few minutes. He pulls out his hidden black arrow, and gets ready to fight the dragon.

- Fire and Water -

The edit seamlessly transitions from The Desolation of Smaug footage to The Battle of the Five Armies as Smaug begins to attack Laketown.

Recut the entire Laketown sequence to depict two main things: Smaug is destroying the town, and Bard is trying to kill him. No more Dwarves, Elves, Master, Alfrid, or Bard’s children.

Footage is heavily rearranged and edited to depict a new Bard vs. Smaug sequence that is more straightforward and faithful to the book.

Bard kills Smaug without the help of his son, using new digitally altered shots removing him from several shots.[2]

The Master still dies from Smaug falling on him, but it has been cut down so we do not see a close-up reaction. Most audiences will assume it is a random boat though, so there will be dialogue later to communicate he died.

- The Gathering of the Clouds -

Removed The Battle of the Five Armies title screen, and we transition from Ravenhill right back to the shores of Laketown, skipping over the Dol Guldur sideplot as always.

Spliced the shore scene with Bard reuniting with his kids. Beach scene has been color adjusted and recut to remove Alfrid, as to make things flow better.

Bard is celebrated and then Alfrid has his only other moment in this edit here. His brief lines are required to communicate to the audience in this scene that Bard is a humble leader and that the Master has died, so he must reluctantly take charge. If cut, it would be hard to tell the audience the Master had died and lose some Bard characterization.

Removed all beach moments with Tauriel and the Dwarves. After Bard takes up charge he says they need to find shelter, so I have added a shot of the Lonely Mountain to hint where they are headed.

Cuts right to the long march of Laketown people towards Dale, and then a repurposed extreme long shot of the mountain as we transition back to the Company searching for the Arkenstone.

Removed Bilbo pulling out the Arkenstone in broad daylight, along with the flashbacks to Smaug that never happened in my edit, because Smaug never talked about Thorin being corrupted.

Cuts to Thorin being angry about not finding the Arkenstone. Removed him lashing out at his friends.

Thorin now has a more linear and slower descent into madness. While he still becomes greedy and stubborn, he is never completely “dragon sick” or “crazy” in my edit. Thorin has been adjusted so that never reaches the lows he did in the originals. This allows for the removal of the “dragon sickness” that used to be necessary to explain his madness, and also it makes his change of heart more convincing.

Removed scene with Balin and Bilbo talking about dragon sickness, as this entire plot has been removed.

Continued to remove all Alfrid scenes throughout The Battle of the Five Armies portion.

Cut out two quick shots of the Bard-Thorin scene to remove a continuity error where the Company was seen behind the gate and then a few seconds later were suddenly on top of it.

Trimmed short the armory scene to remove Thorin’s voice turning into Smaug. It is better to save this type of moment for the front gate confrontation, where the same thing happens with his voice but less intense. Again, I am making Thorin less crazy, and more just a stubborn Dwarf king like the book.

Continued to remove all Legolas and Tauriel’s subplot scenes. There is no second Gundabad Orc army in this edit, they are just depicted as reinforcements in the final battle.

Gandalf finally shows back up after his long departure to warn everyone of Orcs coming. Cut the tent scene short to remove the discussion about Azog and Sauron’s master plan, as to keep closer in line with the book and scope of this story.

New music cue transitions into the actual Orc army marching, despite no one believing Gandalf’s warning. Redubbed subtitles to explain the context that they want to claim the mountain too, and removed extraneous dialogue about Bolg and Gundabad. Applied color correction to appear later in the day with a warmer reddish look.

- A Thief in the Night -

Cuts to night right afterwards where we see Bilbo sneak away.

Shortened Gandalf and Thranduil’s second discussion so we only get the essentials and none of the excessively harsh dialogue “If anything moves, kill it.”

All we get is that Thranduil does not believe Gandalf because he thinks he is trying to trick them to save the Dwarves.

Afterwards, this is the one moment in the entire edit where “dragon sickness” is mentioned, which I kept on purpose. It is spoken by Gandalf who is known for speaking in metaphors, and the dialogue contributes to the plot and his friendship with Bilbo. Cuts from that moment to the next morning without any Alfrid.

- The Clouds Burst -

Removed Thranduil randomly recommending to sell the Arkenstone to Gondor and trimmed out Thorin crazily yelling “I will kill you all,” again, to adjust the tone of his character arc.

Reverted to the theatrical version when Dain shows up in order to remove the Elf vs. Dwarf combat.

New digitally altered shot that shows tunnels in the mountainside before the Orcs show up, hinting that they were just recently dug.[2]

Recut Azog’s introduction to remove Wereworms and instead have his horn be the sound that draws everyone’s attention.

Returns to extended edition as the Dwarves form their shield wall. Trimmed out the gruesome deaths of the chariot rider Dwarves to fit the tone better.

Trimmed the following Gandalf dialogue so that Azog is never mentioned by name, which will be maintained for the entire edit.

Removed wacky design moments and set pieces, including no more catapult trolls, battering ram trolls, or pegleg trolls.

Removed the subplot of Bard and his children. Bard is now just the commander of the men.

New sequence with rescored soundtrack & rearranged footage to depict Bilbo in the middle of a bloody battle surrounded by Lakemen fighting, Gandalf being occupied by Orcs, and civilians being killed. As a result, Bilbo is forced to slip away from this complete carnage.

Bilbo shows his Baggins side and runs away from Dale with his ring towards Ravenhill, which is more like the book. He is a Hobbit, not a warrior.

Bilbo escapes to Ravenhill with a new music cue which allows a good transition back to the main forces fighting on the plains.

Heavily recut the remaining battle sequence, where it is much easier to just say what remains. A fifty-five minute sequence has been recut to now just under twenty.

Action shots of Thranduil and Dain fighting, but soon enough they start to lose the battle as it cuts to a wide shot showing the vast death and destruction with somber music seeping in.

Thranduil pulls back to Dale to help the men, the Dwarves are overrun, and Azog announces again, in a redubbed subtitle, his plans to claim the mountain.

Cut Azog’s subtitle saying the Dwarves are almost spent, as I want to make it seem like they still actually have somewhat of a chance and so their rally makes more sense.

Cut around Dain’s headbutting so that we don’t see that but still get his important dialogue as the camera pans out. Removed headbutt SFX from remaining audio.

Dwalin and Thorin’s discussion in the throne room is the pivotal moment which changes Thorin’s mind. Shortened the scene to remove Thorin lashing out at Dwalin, and instead he reacts in a close-up, almost looking completely devastated at what he has become. Soundtrack adjusted to fit new dialogue.

Subtle increase in color temperature as Thorin reacts to Dwalin’s last comment, starting the transition from a pale lone King to his normal looking self.

Removed another shot of catapult trolls.

As Bilbo is far away from the battle and not in Dale anymore, we do not see him react to Thorin’s charge. Instead, a repurposed shot of Bard has been inserted when the horn of Erebor sounds right before Gandalf reacts. Slow motion applied and audio adjusted to fit right in.

Rearranged footage after charge. The Dwarves charge, then the Men, and then we see Gandalf reacting that they may actually be able to win the battle. Surround sound mix with ambient battling recreated during Bard’s rescored final charge.

Cut back to Bilbo who has found his way into Ravenhill, but is suddenly swarmed by bats and knocked out by an Orc, then fades to black. Background has been digitally altered to remove Dwalin, as Bilbo is supposed to be by himself.

Next begins a classic action montage using the Misty Mountains theme while we see the Company fight all together against Orcs. Dain and Thorin embrace, and we see Thorin decide that Azog (nameless Orc leader) must be killed.

Now only Fili, Kili, and Thorin go to Ravenhill to try to kill Azog. Bilbo and Dwalin are obviously not present. It was somewhat of a plothole that Dwalin disappeared in the originals and was nowhere to be found when Thorin was dying, because was right there.

Ravenhill battle heavily resequenced and rescored.

Fili’s death is relatively the same, although the subtitle originally saying “then the brother” has been redubbed to say “then the other,” as Azog has no clue about their family structure in this cut.

Kili’s final moments have been restructured to depict him running in for Azog to avenge his brother, only for him to be overrun by Orcs. He then fights his way towards Thorin to help him, rather than fighting to defend Tauriel.

Thorin runs after Kili at first with some new brief dialogue yelling “Kili!”

Inserted quick shot of the War-Bats attacking the Dwarf army to pay homage to the book.

Kili is now just killed by an unknown Orc and Tauriel is not involved.

Thorin’s final duel has been slightly shortened, and the part where Azog falls under the ice and jumps back up has been removed.

Eagle scene recut to remove Radagast as well as digitally erase him from one of the shots.[2][4]

Eagle & Beorn montage reordered to sequence better with my recut of the Azog duel.

- The Return Journey / The Last Stage -

Bilbo wakes up and finds Thorin. New music cue transition from him grieving to Thranduil’s final scene.

Thranduil’s conclusion is a repurposed and recut scene from earlier in the movie, previously highlighting his motivations to retreat, but now being used as a scene where he reflects on the casualties of war.

New music cue transition back to Bilbo and Gandalf reflecting together in Ravenhill.

Added Gandalf’s cut eulogy during Thorin’s funeral which was found in the special features disc 11 appendices. Added reverb & echo to vocals in surround channels.

Adjusted custom color grading on the funeral to allow the greens to show more, maintaining a colder and sadder look.

Restructured dialogue in the Bilbo and Gandalf departure scene to reflect the dialogue in the book almost one-to-one. Additionally, now Gandalf does not mention the ring because he still has no idea Bilbo has it, we see him discover it in The Fellowship of the Ring.

- Credits -

Map outro now fades to black in order to transition to the custom credits.

Credits sourced from An Unexpected Journey, but edited to reflect the starring cast of all three films together, along with the full cast of characters that were actually seen in my edit. Renamed credit listing for “Azog” to “Bolg” as a little homage to the book. I might as well, because he is never named in my edit.

New main credits music “Misty Mountains Cold” by Clamavi De Profundis with their names added to the credits.

Afterwards, the unused piece “Dreaming of Bag End” plays to reflect how this edit is more Hobbit & Bilbo focused, and then it ends off with the classic Misty Mountains theme as heard in “The World is Ahead.”

Adjusted the music credits page for the in-universe compositions so that it includes all pieces heard in my edit, not just the ones from the first movie.

Removed any mention of An Unexpected Journey in the copyright information section, as this edit is just titled The Hobbit.

Added “Special Thanks” credits near the end with the names of people who have heavily supported this project.

Michael Sinclair[1], Eric Odmyr[2], Timothée Masurel[3], Dustin Lee[4]
Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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New VFX/Digital Alterations


New Opening (Preview)


Smaug Leaves Erebor (Preview)


Removing Azog (Preview)

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If you're looking for an edit of The Hobbit that puts the movie more in line with the Lord of the Rings film trilogy in both look and narrative, you can't really do better than M4's edit, for my money. The color grading and film overlay succeed in making the movie look much more of a piece with the LoTR trilogy. The editing is seamless and top notch, including 5.1 surround throughout.

You could totally play this as part of a LoTR extended-edition movie marathon, and if the audience didn't know better, they wouldn't even realize it's a fan edit. The new effects and foley audio that M4 has created are integrated completely seamlessly. My only tiny quibble is that it would be nice to completely excise the "old bilbo" prologue and epilogue since those are really the only remaining thing that link this to the LoTR movies in a way that doesn't make a ton of sense if you watch this first, but I get why they were kept as there's just not much to work with in terms of the opening of the movie without them.

I love that M4 created an audio commentary to explain his process and the decision making that went into his edits (I'm listening to it as I write this!), as well as ISOs complete with menus and special features which really make it feel like a professional release that can be proudly displayed on the mantle next to the LoTR extended edition box set.

If you're looking for a short version of the movie, this might not be the version for you, since it's essentially as long as the Return of the King extended edition. But if you just want the most professional, book-centric version of The Hobbit possible without regard for length, you'll love it.

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When I first saw the Hobbit trilogy, I remember being being relatively satisfied until Desolation of Smaug's ridiculous chase scenes and love triangle. BOFA was a massive disappointment. I had heard about Hobbit fanedits for a while now, but this year I finally sat down to watch this one. And my mind was blown.
On a technical level, this edit is professional quality. I couldn't even tell that I was watching a fanedit. The video and audio quality are flawless, the transitions and editing appear natural and effortless. By staying strictly faithful to the book, all of the bloat has been cut out, and the best parts, especially Martin Freeman's performance, shine through more. A brilliant example is removing Bilbo's rescue of Thorin in AUJ. Removing that moment made Thorin and Bilbo's friendship feel much more natural and developed. This and other changes are possible thanks to the fantastic VFX work in this edit, especially during Smaug's attack on Laketown, which manages to remove Bard's son from the scene in a way I didn't think was possible. To make a long story short, if you want a version of the Hobbit that follows the book to the letter, containing only the best parts of the trilogy, look no further than this edit.

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LOSE YOURSELF IN THE WORLD OF TOLKIEN...

Look,
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

When all else is stripped away, it becomes apparent that this is the core conflict facing the main characters of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield. For Bilbo, the opportunity comes in the form of an adventure that pushes him outside of his comfortable Hobbit life. For Thorin, it's the quest to find the lost Arkenstone and claim his rightful place as King of the Mountain. But, will each of them seize the opportunity presented, or will they succumb to fear and let it slip through their fingers?

As illustrated in the esteemed original Tolkien text:
"His soul's escaping, through this hole that is gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a New World Order."

Or maybe it was Eminem who wrote that. I could be confused.

In any case...this edit is for fans of the books who are looking to detach from their lives and completely disappear into the world of Middle-Earth for four hours. It's also for those who are wanting a complement to their Lord of the Rings Extended Editions collection in the form of a condensed version of The Hobbit...because as everyone knows, the Hobbit trilogy as it was released in its original form -- sucked.

M4's edit takes all of the things you may have hated about those movies as they exist in your home collection, and crafted a much more streamlined, easy-to-follow narrative that focuses almost solely on the quest of Bilbo, Thorin and the party of Dwarves. AKA - The only characters who really matter in this story.

Any and all goofy humor has been outlawed in this version. Gone are most of the cameos and wink-wink references to Lord of the Rings that some consider to be world-shrinking. But don't worry, he kept a few important nods that I found to be appropriately subtle.

All of the over-the-top antics of the infamous barrel chase sequence have been reduced to almost a blink-and-you'll-miss-it segue. After all, this is supposed to be a serious quest -- with serious consequences! No one should be having fun here! Can't you see that? What's wrong with you people???

Oh, sorry. The dragon-sickness is taking hold. Been watching too many Hobbit edits lately.

(*It's true, I recently reviewed another Hobbit edit and loved that one too for different reasons. None of what I say below is meant to compare it to the other one. Both edits are spectacular and are two completely different animals. They really can't be compared since they are structured differently and made for different types of viewers. I'm not happy about the possibility they could be squaring off against each other for Fanedit of the Month. But, I will strongly urge all Tolkien fans to watch them both!)

Back to M4's edit...

WHAT I LOVED:
-The story is water-tight. It moves and doesn't feel bogged down by anything. Everything is connected. Everything is consistent. Nothing is set up that doesn't come with a payoff later, and no payoff is paid off without first being set up to begin with...did you get that? Ok, moving on.

-Azog the Orc General is present, but minimalized in a way that I felt worked really well. M4 went so far as to digitally replace him during the tree escape sequence with footage of an Orc riding a warg from another scene, which must have taken hours of touchup, blending and audio mixing to get right. This edit also includes Gandalf's warning of an Orc army being "on the move" before they show up at the end battle, which I appreciated.

-There are no weird elf/dwarf love triangles that no one asked for. No Radagast. No long, meandering, dead-end subplots or superfluous side characters. Even old favorites like Galadriel, Saruman, "my wee lad Gimli" and Sauron were not immune to M4's editing software.

-There are some additions to the musical score which were well chosen and nicely integrated. Howard Shore fans will love it.

-It's one of the few Hobbit edits to endeavor to be "book accurate" without sacrificing good pacing and M4 says he even read Tolkien's book AS he was editing to make sure he didn't miss anything!

-I'm told it's one of the only 3-in-1 edits (if not the only) to keep the extended Beorn introduction, the extended Mirkwood scene and cut the Orc river battle. Plus, there's a beautiful transition from the Troll Caves to Rivendell that really stands out.

-The Smaug scene stood out as well. Keeping all of the dragon's iconic dialogue without any cuts to Bard or to the Dwarves, which, from what I understand, is more accurate to how the book plays out and also more interesting.

-Additionally, this edit is technically solid. A/V is a 10. It pays attention to the details, like color-correction and added custom VFX shots used to bridge substantial cuts in the narrative.

Because earlier versions of this edit have been available for some time out in the wild while it was being perfected and waiting for approval, it has already inspired many others in the community. It does deserve credit for innovating certain cuts and groundbreaking VFX shots which had been created specifically for this edit.

For instance, a deepfake of Thorin's face was used to reduce his injuries after a fight scene that was cut. The gold on Smaug was eliminated as the dragon bursts out of Erebor. Shots of arrows were digitally removed from barrels. And Bard's son was completely removed from the climactic arrow-firing scene with Smaug.

When edited in this way though, The Hobbit is a truly epic journey, both for the characters and the viewer. You can follow Bilbo, Gandalf and the Dwarves and feel what it's like to be with them on this massive quest through Middle-Earth, which is what we all wanted when we first thought about the idea of a Hobbit movie. Right?

The first thing I thought about, actually, was that easter egg on the old Lord of the Rings DVDs, where Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller play two comedic movie executives trying to convince Peter Jackson to make a sequel to Lord of the Rings. It was all a joke at the time...but yeah. Then it happened.

POTENTIAL WEAKNESSES:
Weaknesses were hard to find in this edit. And I tried. But, I think any perceived weakness will come down to a matter of taste and what the viewer personally enjoys in a movie.

-Most of the humor, silliness or lighthearted fun has been removed from this edit. So, if you're a fan of those parts of the movies, you're not going to get it here. Some may think it makes the story feel too dark or oppressive. It's up to the viewer to decide.

-As a casual viewer, I enjoyed some of the Lord of the Rings cameos and references originally included in these movies. They will not be found here. M4 has taken care to reduce as much of that as possible. And for this particular presentation of the story, I think it was the right choice.

-Several instances of singing by Dwarves and the Goblin King have been retained. I was personally not a fan of the singing. I don't think it translates well to film. That being said, I do understand song, poetry & language are all a major part of what makes up the literary tradition of Tolkien and are in keeping with a Book Cut. Though these scenes weren't my cup of tea, I don't feel it detracted from the movie.

-Beorn, that damn bear-shifter-guy is in there again. I'm being told by all Hobbit fans simultaneously to shut tf up, he's an integral part of the story! Can't you see that? Get used to it. He's awesome and he's not going anywhere. LOL! I stand corrected.

-The length. You'd think the length would be a possible weakness. Not everyone wants to sit down to watch a four-hour movie anymore. We've got things to do, places to be.

And sure, this edit is a long one, but despite that fact, it's a thing of beauty. We take the scenic route through Middle-Earth. In all honesty, four hours blows by pretty quick with this edit. Why? Because you're actually invested with the characters this time and engaged with everything they're doing onscreen.

It absolutely fits right alongside the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions or the old roadshow pictures from way back when, complete with an official intermission so you can grab some more popcorn and refill that 64oz cola you've been sucking down for the last hour-and-a-half.

Ultimately, for fans of The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions (or David Lean films), this edit may very well be considered one of the best 3-in-1, longform Hobbit edits ever, depending on the type of experience you're looking for. I'll let the Hobbit experts decide.

From an editing standpoint, I appreciate how daunting a project of this size must have been to take on. The amount of thought M4 has clearly put into it, and the number of years he's spent poring over the details, tweaking it, making the effort to get it just right is admirable. To prove it, there's an audio commentary track included. And it's genuinely fascinating to listen to him talk about the editing process, the challenges he's faced and everything else that was involved. It's a bonus that gives this edit valuable re-watchability.

IN CONCLUSION:
I think M4 has crafted the focused version of this story that we were all expecting and would have preferred -- exactly this -- one long, Extended Edition-style movie, rather than the big, bloated, over-produced, trilogy of cash-grabs that we got. One has to ask, if this was the version Peter Jackson released in an alternate universe, would The Hobbit be remembered as a masterpiece instead of being universally reviled?

Bottom line is: It's an amazing project made for anyone looking to lose yourself in the magical world of Middle-Earth. Guaranteed to be appreciated by all who see it.

This is going to sit on my shelf and in my Plex server right next to my official Lord of the Rings Extended Editions as my head-canon version of "The Hobbit: The Extended Edition". Except it's not actually extended, it's condensed. "The Hobbit: The Condensed Edition!" No, no, no...

How about just "M4's The Hobbit Book Edit"... All rights reserved. That works.

M4, in all seriousness, thank you for sharing your talent, skill and hard work with the community. This was an enjoyable watch.

Unto you I say... Welcome!

And to sum this whole story up by quoting the immortal text of Tolkien once again (or is it Eminem?):

"Snap back to reality, ope there goes gravity
Ope, there goes Hobbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't give up that easy? No
He won't have it, he knows his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope, he knows that, but he's broke
He's so stagnant, he knows, when he goes back to his Hobbit home, that's when it's
Back to the Shire again, yo, this whole rhapsody
Better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him.

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance, Bilbo
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime..."

You can do anything you set your mind to, man.
Owner's reply November 23, 2021

What an amazing review man! I appreciate all the kind word, this brought a smile to me, I also appreciate how you made a point that there are many types of Hobbit edits. It should never be a competition, because as long as every edit does something different then that's enough for it to potentially be "the best edit" for any random individual based on what they're looking for.

Oh yeah and some minor things I want to comment on, you said I digitally replaced the Orc which is *true* from a certain point of view, but most of the shot is the same as the original movie so don't give me too much credit haha, I just did some tweaks to the framing, coloring, and the backdrop.

I'll also say you are totally right about how my edit removes a lot of silly gags and comedy bits, but it's important to remember that you only really notice that in the second half of the story when the stakes are raised. Bag End/Troll scene/Rivendell, for example, still have their own funny moments where it felt natural and true to the book's spirit.

I agree that some people may miss those LOTR references (Gimli, one-ring reference in Rivendell, Sauron eye flash, stuff like that), but when it *matters most* such as the Mithril coat, finding the actual ring, or the beautiful book-end scene with old Bilbo, that's where I loved to have the references :)

Also, eminem references is an easy upvote. But again, thanks for the review my man and it was a pleasure working with you to get this approved! Hope to see you maybe make a fan edit one of these days..

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Being a diehard fan of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and J.R.R. Tolkien's books, I, like many, was heartbroken with Warner Bros. adaptation of The Hobbit. But M4 was able to make me fall in love with the story all over again. I've seen several Hobbit edits, and this is easily the best. It is an incredibly faithful adaptation of the novel while being consistent in tone with the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It feels like the cohesive movie we should have gotten instead of the bloated trilogy we did. In my mind, this is the only version of The Hobbit that deserves the title and will be the version that I watch in tandem with the LotR trilogy. I cannot praise M4 enough for his Hollywood quality editing, his beautiful visual effects, his love of the source material, and his commitment to this project.

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I’ve seen this on both the digital format and the blu-ray, which I burned and watched on my TV. I must say, this is the edit I’ve been looking for. What got me into this community was looking for a fanedit for The Hobbit trilogy, and I stumbled upon The Tolkien Editor’s very rough and low quality edit from 2015, thought “this is a good idea, but shit quality”, then a friend in a discord for Teh Lurd of teh Reings YouTube channel (a very funny LOTR meme channel) sent a link to M4’s edit. I was blown away. Almost all transitions, both audio and visual, are impeccable. And the ones that aren’t are very very close, but because of the available footage, are as good as can be given M4’s goal of keeping it as close to the book and the LOTR trilogy adaptations. It’s my go to Hobbit edit and I have added it to every marathon I do of LOTR, extending a previous 12 hour marathon to a glorious 16, and I love every minute of it (LOTR is my favorite movie after all). Fantastic job M4!

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